When God is Slow (Psalm 9)
Sometimes the Lord loves us enough to work slowly.
In the physical world, he will occasionally create material age in an instant—transforming water to wine or void to earth in a period of seconds or days.
But spiritual growth is rarely rushed. For this work of creation, he employs the tool of time. We can’t understand it. We fight against it. We beg him to hurry.
Yet by his slow and intentional hand, we are transformed.
I thought of this while reading Psalm 9 today, and particularly at verse 18.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
It is difficult to follow the guidance of the first part of this Psalm when we feel forgotten, but there a unique beauty to trusting God in the slowest of times, when it seems that the ache will never end. Reading the Scriptures, we find old stories of gradual, deliberate work in his followers--work accomplished over years and years of difficulty. To "recount his wonderful deeds" doesn't just take his cosmic blasts of intervention into account, but also the meticulous labor of an artist willing to take time to perfect what he has begun.
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
We choose thanks because we are tempted to despair. We tell ourselves the old stories because it's difficult to see the big picture while crouching in a foxhole. We testify to the eternal end He has begun for us when we declare against the darkness:
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.